Greater process reliability and reduced resource consumption during the packaging of fresh products – both are guaranteed with the latest generation of GEA thermoforming packaging technology, the GEA PowerPak PLUS. The machine was presented for the first time during, the GEA Packaging Days customer event at the production site in Wallau, Germany, at the end of last year. In May, the technology group will use e the international trade fair IFFA in Frankfurt (Hall 8/Stand D06) to showcase the system on a larger scale.
“Before developing the machine further, we undertook a customer survey. By doing so, we were able to incorporate our customers’ wishes to further improve process reliability and packaging quality as well as machine running times of our already proven thermoforming machines in the PowerPak product range,” explains Volker Sassmannshausen, Product Manager Thermoforming. Based on their feedback, we chose to focus on film unwinding and feeding, hygiene and overall handling. Consequently, the sealing station and bottom film infeed of the PowerPak PLUS thermoformer were completely redesigned to facilitate process transparency and traceability – contributing to the greater sustainability of packaging processes in the food industry.
Optimized film handling reduces film consumption
The unwinding systems for both the top and bottom films have been optimized and are now motor-driven and synchronized with the machine’s advancing cycle. In combination with the innovative web tension system, they facilitate a controlled unwinding and a simplified and secure film path. Controlled unwinding in the bottom film infeed module prevents the bottom film from curling. As a result of the innovations in film unwinding and film run, the sealing station design has also been updated. The entire top film unwinding system is located in the area of the sealing station and easily accessed. In addition, the sealing station structure has also been fundamentally improved and is now protected by vertically adjustable and transparent safety doors, which can be lowered quickly and easily when required, eliminating the need for loose, protective hoods. Other significant innovations in the sealing station include the motor-driven evacuation and gasification valves in combination with pressure sensors. They enable individual, reproducible as well as product- and packaging-dependent processes.
With GEA PerformancePlus, modular service and maintenance packages are available which increases equipment availability and produces transparency regarding the actual condition of the equipment.